Katagami, intricately cut Japanese paper stencils, have long been used in the dyeing of patterned textiles and are listed as one of the Important Intangible Cultural Properties of Japan. Enter Futaba, one of the last remaining dyeing ateliers in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo, from where we reclaimed these katagami. Futaba specialise in the traditional printing of silk for kimonos. Each stunning piece of cloth measures thirteen meters long and takes weeks to dye by hand, using the katagami to stencil the pattern. Master craftsmen in Edo dyeing, their skills have been passed down through generations of silk and fabric dyers. We think that the katagami are beautiful in their own right, works of art for the wall. There’s a real richness and prowess to these fine hand-cutting techniques. Kawaakari in Japanese refers to the glow of a river in darkness.
This katagami is reclaimed and has been used in the dying process so there will be marks, and the odd crinkle or tear, but this tells the story and embraces the Wabi-Sabi nature of the piece. It’s a one-of-a-kind. Sold singularly and unframed.